CHDM water crisis deepens
Some towns dry for three weeks
The Chris Hani District Municipality (CHDM) has been battling a devastating drought ever since reservoirs dropped down to less than 20% of their capacity.
Daily Dispatch reported that CHDM spokeswoman Thobeka Mqamelo said the state would inject R87.3m into drought relief measures for the north of Eastern Cape.
“An implementation plan on how the funds will be utilised was drafted by the department of water and sanitation (DWS) and CHDM council and work is now under way. The plan focuses on the worst-affected areas. The money pumped in by DWS will be spent on boreholes, pumps, water cartage and tanks.”
Several areas in Komani and other towns under CHDM have been hard-hit hard by the drought which has left the area of Zola and Greenfields in Tarkastad without water for more than three weeks.
Parts of Ezibeleni, Connaught Avenue, Blue Rise, and Victoria Park did not have water on Monday.
DA councillor in Tarkastad Carol Boast said the situation in Zola and Greenfields had developed because the municipality had failed to provide a solution to ensure water provision.
“Residents had to go to other areas to fetch water in buckets – something CHDM should have provided for them, because in other areas, when there is a water issue they send trucks to deliver it. I even had a resident collect water at my house on Christmas Day because they needed to cook,” Boast said.
Ezibeleni resident Thandeka Batyi said there were regular water outages scheduled by the municipality, but the CHDM did not stick to its schedule.
“The municipality recently installed water tanks in several areas and when there is no water, residents use the water in tanks for laundry and other less urgent activities which I think is unfair. The municipality also does not check regularly if the tanks have water so sometimes we sit with dry tanks and taps.”
Mqamelo said the water tanks in Ezibeleni were meant to be an intervention when there was no water supply to the area and would be filled as and when the need arose.
“The ward councillor interacts with our office when the need arises and the tanks were last filled this past weekend. Because of the prevailing water shortage, our reservoirs barely reach 20% of water level due to high demand. The situation is worsened by the fact that there is far less raw water coming through to the plant.
Mqamelo said Zola Township relied on boreholes for water and that last week’s thunderstorms affected power links, causing two boreholes to stop working, and that caused interruptions.
“Eskom has since resolved this issue and pumping is in progress. The households will only begin to see the difference from Wednesday as the reservoir was empty.”